PlaceTech

Fifth Wall raises $500m to counter ‘underinvestment’ in climate

Brendan Wallace, left, with Greg Smithies of Fifth Wall, credit: Lev Gorn

The VC firm’s inaugural climate fund is the world’s largest targeting decarbonisation in real estate.

Industry backers include CBRE, Hilton, Ivanhoé Cambridge, British Land and Kimco Realty.

Fifth Wall estimates that despite emitting two-fifths of total global greenhouse gases, real estate has invested just $94.6m into climate tech R&D in the last decade.

Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner of Fifth Wall, said: “Although the real estate industry has historically been among the largest contributors to global greenhouse gases, most real estate organisations have underinvested into the critical climate tech necessary to decarbonise.

“The strategic LPs in our climate fund have instead taken a true leadership role among the industry by making real financial commitments to address real estate’s contributions to climate change.”

Completed investments

The $500m fund has already invested in several startups looking to play a role in decarbonising the built environment. These startups come from sectors ranging from clean energy to sustainable materials, software and modular construction.

Assembly OSM

Sector: Construction

What it does: Designs and delivers prefabricated high-rise buildings made of sustainable materials

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Brimstone

Sector: Materials

What it does: Manufactures low-carbon Portland cement designed to be identical to – and cheaper than – conventional cement

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Clarity AI

Sector: Reporting software

What it does: Provides a “tech kit” for assessing, analysing and reporting ESG metrics

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Electric Hydrogen

Sector: Energy

What it does: Seeks to decarbonise the production of hydrogen by creating new technologies for electrolysis

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Icon

Sector: Construction

What it does: Designs and builds 3D printed homes – including the first permitted 3D printed home in the US

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Sealed

Sector: Retrofit

What it does: Modernises houses with the latest HVAC, weatherproofing and smart home technology, while covering the upfront costs

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Span

Sector: Energy

What it does: Reinvents the standard electrical panel to give residents greater control over all energy use in their homes

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Turntide Technologies

Sector: Energy

What it does: Optimises energy use in buildings with technologies such as energy efficient motors, smart HVAC systems and software that monitors and controls them

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Wildcat Discovery Technologies

Sector: Materials

What it does: Works in battery R&D, synthesising and evaluating materials to create better batteries with better performance and lower costs

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